12:41pm PT by Kate Stanhope
Half a Dozen More Advertisers Ditch '19 Kids and Counting'
The fallout continues for 19 Kids and Counting.
More than a half a dozen companies, including CVS Pharmacy, Ace Hardware, ConAgra Foods, Pure Leaf Iced Tea, Behr Paint, Ricola and Party City have now pulled their advertising from future episodes of the TLC reality show in the wake of star Josh Duggar's admission that he molested several underage girls 12 years ago, including his sisters.
TLC announced Friday that the network was yanking the long-running reality show from its schedule, one day after Duggar issued a statement apologizing for his actions. “Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time,” the network said in a statement. TLC has not commented further on the situation.
Should TLC reinstate the show, David's Bridal said it will take the necessary steps to have their ads removed from future airings. H&R Block, which ran ads on the network during tax season, said in a statement that it "will not advertise on the show if it is reinstated."
Brands such as CVS Pharmacy said they plan to continue advertising on TLC in general, but "are working to ensure that our ads do not air during any future episodes of this particular program," according to a company spokesperson.
The companies join General Mills, Walgreens, Payless Shoe Source and Choice Hotels, who have already parted ways with the TLC docuseries.
Duggar, who is now 27 and married with three children, immediately issued a statement after the allegations against him surfaced. "Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret," he said. "I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation."
According to a 2006 police report published by In Touch, his parents reported the incidents to the police but charges were never filed.
In addition to his statement, the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar resigned his position as a lobbyist with the Family Research Council (FRC), an organization dedicated to preserving family values in America.
It remains to be seen if TLC will take further action against 19 Kids and Counting, which has been on the air since 2008 and just wrapped its 15th season. In October, the network canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo shortly after allegations surfaced about a romantic relationship between series matriarch June "Mama June" Shannon and a man convicted of child molestation.
Shannon has called for TLC to pull the plug on 19 Kids and Counting, citing unfair and inconsistent treatment. Shannon claims she has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars since the sudden cancelation of her series.